Favorite Paczki - Rudy's Strudel and Bakery

Favorite Paczki
Rudy's Strudel and Bakery
Voted Cleveland's Favorite - 2023
5580 Ridge Road in Parma
February 15, 2023

Rudy was an immigrant from Hungary who started his store in 1948 at 48th and Storer. It was known for strudel and penny candy. He had two daughters who are still good friends of the current owner, Lidia Trempe.

Lidia's father immigrated from Ukraine and her mother from Poland. When Rudy died in 1979 her mother bought Rudy's and brought in some of her secret old-world recipes for Eastern European favorites such as strudel, kolaczki, potica and others and, of course, paczki.

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent which is 40 days of fasting. That used to mean only one meal a day and full fasting on Friday. (It's been greatly relaxed in modern times but Fridays are still meat-free). Rich foods were not allowed. So the Tuesday before Lent, people of Poland used up their eggs, butter, sugar and fruit by treating themselves one last time before Lent began.

Ash Wednesday is on February 22 this year. That means February 21st is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Another popular Polish-American tradition is celebrated the week before (February 16 this year) with Fat Thursday or Tlusty Czwartek (pronounced Twoosti Chvartek).

But Paczki (punch-key) Day has become much more than a Polish-American tradition. And nobody does it better than Rudy's Strudel in Parma where lines will form early and continue all day. People will ask for paczkis, not realizing that paczki is already the plural of paczek (punch-ek).

Rudy's t-shirts

I survived Rudy's Paczki Line t-shirt

Paczki sign at Rudy's

Rudy's Strudel Paczki Counter

Rudy's Paczki Day sign

The large crowds lined up for Rudy's paczki can fill out pads to speed up the process.

Rudy's paczki pads

Lidia Trempe in front of a wall of paczki boxes

Lidia Trempe in front of a wall of paczki boxes
- just a fraction of what will be used

A few weeks ago we told you about pierogis and that Rudy's was awarded with the Favorite Pierogi in Cleveland honor. We came back because the visitors to our sister websites (, ClevelandSeniors.Com,, and voted for Rudy's as their Favorite Paczki as well!

Lidia Trempe - Favorite Paczki Award

Lidia Trempe - Favorite Paczki Award

Lidia Trempe stressed that a paczki is NOT a donut. Paczki are much richer, tastier and have more filling than donuts. At Rudy's you can get all the traditional flavors such as raspberry, lemon , blueberry, custards and so on but they also have special flavors such as Rose Petal Jelly, Pina Colada and even some savory paczki such as the Clevelander which is filled with sauerkraut and kielbasa!

The last time I got a dozen Paczki at Rudy's I had to weigh the box when I got home. The 12 assorted fruit-filled (my favorite) Paczki weighed 5.2 lbs.! That's about .43 lbs per Paczki - almost half a pound!

Dozen paczki from Rudy's

Dozen paczki from Rudy's

Watch the video of Lidia explaining paczki and receiving the Favorite Paczki Award.

Congratulations Lidia and all of Rudy's for this rare Double Honor!

Lidia Trempe with Favorite Pierogi and Favorite Paczki awards

Lidia Trempe with Favorite Pierogi and Favorite Paczki awards

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